NHS-R conference

So I recently just got back from the NHS-R community conference, which was amazing of course, and it’s got me in the mood to share, so I’m writing a few blog posts. I’ve got some more in depth stuff to say about where I think NHS-R is/ should be going, but this is the “feels” one.

As I mentioned on Twitter, I love the NHS and I love R so I’m obviously going to enjoy the NHS-R conference. It was really good and the standard of talks and workshops was really high. Much bigger and better than last year.

It was so inspiring to be there. To be honest I get a bit depressed about the state of analytics in the NHS (as you’ll see from my Twitter) but you would never guess it for those two days. The big feeling that I got while I was there is that I need to up my game. There were people with huge, fully functioning packages, multiple academic publications from their R work, all sorts of complicated machine learning that was beyond my ken, big complicated statistical models, you name it really.

It’s such a wonderful feeling, to escape the inane drudgery of idiotic performance reporting and looking at my seven millionth SPC and being asked if three points of increase is a trend, and to be in the company of people who had done truly remarkable things with R. Remarkable things, I should add, even with the dead hand of bureaucracy and idiotic IT security systems, and all the stuff that I have to do. When Google do cool things, it’s easy to just think “Well, that’s Google. I couldn’t do that where I am”. These people had done stuff inside the NHS and they had the scars to prove it!

I think probably I will do a Shiny workshop at the NHS-R conference every year until I die, but I might try to sneak a paper in there as well actually next time. More on this subject once the work flowers a bit, I hope.

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